Disclosure: This post was made possible by MomsMeet.com and Flavor Your Life Campaign. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine. Read full Disclosure Policy here. Thank you.
If you’re anything like me, then olive oil is a staple in your home pantry. My love of olive oil stems from my childhood growing up along the shore in South Jersey. I lived in a very diverse multi-cultural neighborhood full of rich, vibrant Italian, Greek, and Eastern European and Jewish cultures. Where around suppertime each night the sweet smell of European olive oil perfumed our street by way of each family’s distinct culinary traditions. Making European olive oil one of my sweetest childhood memories. Which is why I stock my kitchen with quality European olive oil.
I use European olive oil daily in a variety of ways. From dips to salad dressings, it’s my go-to oil at home. And no matter how I use it one thing’s for sure- when it comes to olive oil quality is everything. My Grandmother would always make a point of using olive oil in most of her cooking and now I do the same. One of my favorite treats, a fresh baguette and olive oil for dipping. Nothing is better, friends!
Recently I was given the opportunity to sample the Flavor Your Life European Olive Oil. This campaign, supported by the European Union, is dedicated to providing North American consumers with the latest information about European extra virgin olive oil and to educate consumers of the lasting health benefits that European olive oil provides. As I mentioned earlier, quality is what olive oil is all about. I loved the flavor of this oil and it definitely made a difference when cooking with it.
As I mentioned earlier, when choosing olive oil for your family at home, quality is key. So here are a few key points to consider about olive oil before your next purchase.
European Olive Oil facts:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the freshly pressed juice of olives.
- It is cold pressed, meaning it is pressed without heat or chemicals.
- Quality olive oil must contain acidity levels below 0.8% or virtually free of acidity.
- This has nothing to do with the pH or taste, but the fatty inner acids.
- Higher levels of acids indicate improper production and product rancidity.
- Proper peroxide value must be below 20 milliequivalents of oxygen/kilo of oil, which indicates the amount of oxidation or aging that’s occurred.
- Aging olive oil can be measured in varying degrees that olives are exposure to oxygen, light, and heat.
Why Choose European olive oil:
- The olive tree has been revered in Europe since Antiquity.
- For thousands of years, olive growers have cultivated hundreds of varieties of olive trees (cultivars), optimizing each cultivation for different environment conditions and terrains to produce the most delicious yields possible.
- The resulted in a centuries-old pact between olive growers and consumers the world over.
- The greatest impact on olive oil taste is the type of olive tree (cultivar), region the olive is grown (which affects climate and soil), and the time of harvest.
- Europe offers a vast array of avor pro les, so keep a variety of oils in your pantry for different occasions.
- Olives are often harvested early in the season, typically in late August (varies by region).
- Olives are harvested when they are under-ripe. Which produces oils that are greener, more bitter and pungent.
- Olives harvested at the end of the season, late November into December, are over-ripe and tend to taste milder.
How I love to use European olive oil at home:
One of my favorite ways to use olive at home each summer is by brushing fresh vegetables with European olive oil and then grilling the vegetables. I use these vegetables to make pressed paninis, as healthy chip alternatives to pair with hummus, as entrees for quick dinners on Meatless Mondays, or cut up and added to summer jar salads. If I’m feeling super fancy, I’ll pour some into a little dish with some salt, pepper and maybe a little Parmesan cheese to dip my vegetables! So good and so simple.
I cannot speak highly enough of European olive oil. each time I’ve tried my sample in recent summer fair, I’m taken back to my year studying abroad in Paris, France and my semester abroad with my former exchange family in Saint-Lô, France. Places where I sampled some of my favorite olive oil-infused dishes! I’m also reminded of my month-long trip to Tuscany where I was able to taste all the different olive oils from the region, oils that were nothing short of divine.
With each bite, I’m reminded of how European olive oil varies by region as well. That Spanish extra virgin olive oil, a golden yellow oil with a fruity flavor that lends itself well to tapas. Or the mild natural taste of the French varieties as well as the bold taste of Italian varieties, oils are known for their earthy, herbal aroma and rich grass-rich flavor. Then there is my favorite olive oil, Greek olive oil, a bold, seasoned oil that’s delicious in every conceivable way. As you can see, the sky is the limit in terms, in terms of the flavor that European Extra Virgin Olive Oil brings to the table.
As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to dishes that can be made with the rich, bold, delectable taste of European olive oil. Whatever you cook, bake, grill, or saute, just a humble drizzle European olive oil can turn dinners into memories. So, I encourage you all to try European olive oil in your own home.
So now friends, I have to ask, how will you be using European olive oil in your own kitchens this season? I’d love to hear about it below!
- 3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
- 3 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 3 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
- 3 eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
- 12 Cremini mushrooms
- 2 whole yellow or green tomatoes
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed f woody ends
- 1 turnip root, cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh organic chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh organic chopped basil
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
- Prep all vegetales and set aside.
- Place a grill pan over medium-high heat
- Brush the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the oil to coat lightly
- Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper
- grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over
- Once cooked, arrange the vegetables on a platter
- Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper. balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend.
- Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables.
- Serve the vegetables warm.
- Grill times: You will need to grill bell peppers for about 8 to 10 minutes; 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions
- Grill marks: The key to getting photo-ready great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables while on the hot grill.